Thanksgiving, and the morning after Thanksgiving saw hundreds of people in Madera waiting in line amid frosty weather to hunt down the best bargains they could find.
For these people, the crowds were a small price to pay for the sales offered for Black Friday across Madera. Despite, the numbers, however, the crowds began to calm down for a time on Friday morning.
“Earlier, it was busy,” said Walmart press and fabric department manager Marsha Vick. “We opened at 6 a.m. We had a line outside.”
According to the store’s assistant manager, Marcus Lacey, Walmart began its sales on Thanksgiving evening, which helped to absorb some of the crowds, but there was still no shortage of shoppers looking for discounts on goods and appliances. For some shoppers, it’s not just an opportunity for low-priced supplies, but a holiday tradition.
“I’ve been doing it for the last 10 years, and I usually go to Fresno,” said Black Friday shopper Mary Ellen Rodriguez. “It’s a tradition, and yeah, you save a lot of money.”
According to Rodriguez, she had shopped for hours, and was able to get a television set, normally priced at approximately $400, for $250. Her sons had also gone shopping on Thanksgiving, with Rodriguez saying they had been at the store for three hours. As for Rodriguez, she claimed that Walmart was just one stop of several.
“I’m going to Fresno right now, too,” Rodriguez said. “To go hit some other stores.”
Some stores in Madera saw only a few people come in for Black Friday. Small businesses like Leighton’s Jewelers, for example, had modest turnouts the day after Thanksgiving.
“Black Friday’s not our biggest day, as small towns,” said Chris Miller of Leighton’s Jewelers. “Everybody’s hitting all the big box stores, but we’ve had people in today.”
According to Miller, he expects more people to come into his store for Small Business Saturday, which is expected to bring in customers to small stores in Madera like his. Miller has also stated that the specials that he is offering will run throughout the holiday season.